Florida Department of Corrections

As a candidate, Gov. Rick Scott pitched the idea of having private companies provide health care to the state's prisoners in a plan to save taxpayers $1 billion over seven years. But in the first five years of privatization, the cost has climbed from $278 million to $375 million.

Peter Haden / WLRN News

Ten years ago, before the financial crisis hit the state, there were 579 publicly funded beds for substance abuse treatment in Palm Beach County. Today there are around 179, and in the coming days that number will go down even further, according to Alton Taylor, the executive director of the Drug Abuse Foundation in Delray Beach, the county's largest provider of publicly funded substance abuse treatment beds.

Associated Press

The Florida Department of Corrections (FDC) is proposing a plan to reduce in-person visitation hours. That comes at the same time it rolls out a for-profit contract with a Miramar-based company for digital visitations. Critics question the motives of the state, while the FDC maintains there is no connection between the two.

The state’s proposal would cut prison visitations in half in most facilities.

Florida’s 98,000 incarcerated citizens had a voice today at the Florida Department of Corrections public hearing. Prisoner support groups gathered for three hours to implore the department to reconsider a proposed visitation policy change.

Bob Jagendorf / Wikimedia

A Florida-based publisher of a magazine written by inmates lost a federal appeal of a freedom of speech case against the Florida Department of Corrections, which has barred the magazine from state correctional facilities.

Prison Legal News, based in Lake Worth, is distributed and read in state prisons in all 49 other states, leaving its home state as the only exception. The original case against the state was filed in 2004, and has since wound its way through the courts.

Associated Press

A package of contraband covered in grass clippings that was dropped by a drone at a Panhandle prison is one of the most recent examples of inmates using advanced technology to smuggle illegal items behind prison walls.

Florida lawmakers are working to create a centralized location for criminal justice data statewide.

Florida Department of Corrections

The Florida Department Of Corrections has started evacuating some of their smaller facilities in South Florida.

While institutions are stocking up on more water and food supplies, some satellite facilities, community work release centers and work camps are evacuating to other DOC facilities. As of Thursday, 5400 inmates had been evacuated according to Michelle Glady, director of communications for the DOC.

Florida’s correctional facilities are no longer under lockdown and prisoner visitation has now been restored.

The Florida Department of Corrections has cancelled visitations at most of its facilities and prisoners are under lockdown, at least through the weekend.

Starting next month, thousands of Florida’s correctional and probation officers will decide which union they want representing them. The choice is between the Florida Police Benevolent Association and the Teamsters Union.

Legislature Approves New Death Penalty Rules

Mar 3, 2016
Florida Department of Corrections

The stark room that plays host to Florida's most severe punishment and the theater from which onlookers watch may be back in business soon.

The state Senate Thursday passed a bill finalizing procedures for sentencing someone to death in Florida. The bill, on its way to the governor’s desk, does not require a unanimous jury in handing down that sentence. Despite early signs that the Legislature might consider requiring a unanimous jury, the final language only requires 10 of 12 jurors to agree to sentence someone to death.

Florida's Execution Procedure In Question

Jun 24, 2015
Florida Department of Corrections

Over the last several years, European drug manufacturers have tried to limit the use of their products in lethal injection executions. As a result, death penalty states were left scrambling to find replacements.

In 2013, Florida began using a new drug called midazolam that is now the subject of a U.S. Supreme Court case: Glossip v. Gross. The state, which has one of the most active active death chambers, has halted all executions for the past six months awaiting a decision on the case.

Florida Roundup: The DEP Ban On 'Climate Change'

Mar 13, 2015
Patti Mazzei / Miami Herald

Gov. Rick Scott's office is continuing to deny that the administration unofficially banned the use of the terms "climate change" and "global warming" after former state employees said they were told not to use those words. 

Florida Roundup: Cuban Adjustment Act

Jan 16, 2015
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8065/8266066249_2bac85a7c5_z.jpg
Don McDougall / flickr Creative Commons

On the Florida Roundup we talk to the area's journalists about the week's top stories. 

Cuban Adjustment Act

A Sun-Sentinel yearlong investigation finds more than $2 billion within two decades was fraudulently brought into Cuba and how the Cuban Adjustment Act plays a role in letting the criminals get away without prosecution. 

Haiti

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